We all agree that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than smoking. One in two lifelong smokers dies from their addiction. All the evidence suggests that the health risks posed by e-cigarettes are relatively small by comparison but we must continue to study the long-term effects.
And yet, millions of smokers have the impression that e-cigarettes are at least as harmful as tobacco. Over 1.3 million UK e-cigarette users have completely stopped smoking and almost 1.4 million others continue to smoke. We have a responsibility to provide clear information on the evidence we have, to encourage complete smoking cessation and help prevent relapse to smoking.
The public health opportunity is in helping smokers to quit, so we may encourage smokers to try vaping but we certainly encourage vapers to stop smoking tobacco completely.
We know that e-cigarettes are the most popular quitting tool in the country with more than 10 times as many people using them than using local stop smoking services. However, we also know that using local stop smoking services is by far the most effective way to quit.
The current national evidence is that in the UK regular e-cigarette among youth use is almost exclusively confined to those young people who have already smoked, and youth smoking prevalence is continuing to fall. …
Yet in New Zealand it is still illegal to sell nicotine for e-cigarettes. Why is the Ministry of Health so slow to change?
The groups that signed the joint statement are:
- Public Health England
- Action on Smoking and Health
- Association of Directors of Public Health
- British Lung Foundation
- Cancer Research UK
- Faculty of Public Health
- Fresh North East
- Healthier Futures
- Public Health Action
- Royal College of Physicians
- Royal Society for Public Health
- UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies
- UK Health Forum